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Assessing the maintenance of savings sufficiency over the first decade of retirement

Author

Listed:
  • Robert Haveman
  • Karen Holden
  • Andrei Romanov
  • Barbara Wolfe

    ()

Abstract

The goal of securing adequate resources in retirement dominates the ongoing debate regarding social security reforms designed to accommodate the demographic transformation and to provide minimum income security to retired workers. Policy proposals concerned with the implication of future public sector costs emphasize greater individual responsibility for meeting retirement resource goals. Proposals seeking minimum living standards imply expansion of public fiscal liabilities. We contribute to this discussion by examining the extent to which a cohort of US retirees were able to meet resource adequacy standards at the time of retirement, and to maintain initial levels of resources over the first decade of retirement. We compare annuitized wealth, including social security and pension wealth, to two adequacy standards—a household’s preretirement earnings (reflecting the goal of maintaining preretirement consumption) and the US poverty threshold (reflecting the goal of meeting minimum consumption standards). We analyze the relationship of individual characteristics to changes in resource adequacy over time, and identify the characteristics of those who gain and lose resources over the first decade of retirement. Finally, we simulate the effects on adequacy and public sector benefit costs of four social insurance policy proposals. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Haveman & Karen Holden & Andrei Romanov & Barbara Wolfe, 2007. "Assessing the maintenance of savings sufficiency over the first decade of retirement," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(4), pages 481-502, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:14:y:2007:i:4:p:481-502
    DOI: 10.1007/s10797-007-9027-y
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Olivia S. Mitchell & James Moore & John Phillips, "undated". "Explaining Retirement Saving Shortfalls," Pension Research Council Working Papers 98-13, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
    2. Engen, Eric & Gale, William & Uccello, Cori, 1999. "The Adequacy of Household Saving," MPRA Paper 56442, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Lina Walker, 2004. "Elderly Households and Housing Wealth: Do They Use It or Lose It?," Working Papers wp070, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    4. B. Douglas Bernheim & Jonathan Skinner & Steven Weinberg, 2001. "What Accounts for the Variation in Retirement Wealth among U.S. Households?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 832-857, September.
    5. Gustman, Alan L. & Steinmeier, Thomas L., 1999. "Effects of pensions on savings: analysis with data from the health and retirement study," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 271-324, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Love, David A. & Palumbo, Michael G. & Smith, Paul A., 2009. "The trajectory of wealth in retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 191-208, February.
    2. van Dalen, H.P. & Henkens, K. & Hershey, D.A., 2008. "Are Pension Savings sufficient? Perceptions and Expectations of American and Dutch Workers," Discussion Paper 2008-58, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    3. Karen Smith & Mauricio Soto & Rudolph G. Penner, 2009. "How Seniors Change Their Asset Holdings During Retirement," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2009-31, Center for Retirement Research, revised Dec 2009.
    4. Geoffrey L. Wallace & Robert Haveman & Karen Holden & Barbara Wolfe, 2012. "Health and Wealth in Early Retirement," CEPR Discussion Papers 669, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    5. David A. Love & Paul A. Smith & Lucy C. McNair, 2008. "A New Look At The Wealth Adequacy Of Older U.S. Households," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 54(4), pages 616-642, December.
    6. Jim Been & Michael Hurd & Susann Rohwedder, 2014. "Responses of Time-use to Shocks in Wealth during the Great Recession," Working Papers wp313, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    7. Christian Dudel & Notburga Ott & Martin Werding, 2016. "Maintaining one’s living standard at old age: What does that mean?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 1261-1279, November.
    8. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 2011. "Were They Prepared for Retirement? Financial Status at Advanced Ages in the HRS and AHEAD Cohorts," NBER Chapters,in: Investigations in the Economics of Aging, pages 21-69 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Marike Knoef & Rob Alessie & Adriaan Kalwij, 2013. "Changes in the Income Distribution of the Dutch Elderly between 1989 and 2020: a Dynamic Microsimulation," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 59(3), pages 460-485, September.
    10. Matti Tuomala & Sanna Tenhunen, 2013. "On the design of an optimal non-linear tax/pension system with habit formation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(3), pages 485-512, June.
    11. de Bresser, Jochem & Knoef, Marike, 2015. "Can the Dutch meet their own retirement expenditure goals?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 100-117.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social security; Retirement; Savings; Pensions; Well-being; Poverty; D31; H55; J26;

    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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